Searching for "Z" projection utility or software

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    Member michaelangelo631's Avatar
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    Default Searching for "Z" projection utility or software

    I am hoping that someone on the forum can point me in the right direction. We regularly have to cnc engrave logos on irregular shaped parts. The logos have there own pre-defined / customer supplied fonts. We normally do this with 15 degree, single point Harvey engraving cutters. The parts are usually made from 7075 aluminum and have a mirror polish on them. On smaller size logos we may only go as deep as 0.003 to 0.005 deep. The problem we have is that after polishing the surface irregularities will result in letters that are deep in one area and to shallow in others. We do have a much older Datron cnc that has a touch probe attached. It has a built in probe field feature which allows you to probe a surface and will then take your posted nc program and project that down onto that probed surface. They call it a "Z correction field". We usually get by with just that one machine. However there are times were we would like to engrave these types of parts on some of our other cnc machines. We do have touch style Renishaw probes on most of our machines (Okuma, Hurco, Haas). We are also programming with CAM software. We do have the ability to collect surface points using a probing routine. However we do not have a utility or application that will adjust the final program to map to that calculated surface. I have come across other g-code utilities (g-code ripper) that manipulates the posted program in interesting ways but I don't think that is applicable for what I am trying to do. Is there something out there that will allow me to use my existing cam software and current renishaw probing equipment to achieve this? Also want to mention that the programs we would want to project are 3 axis programs. Not just 2D toolpaths. To my knowledge it seems like the Datron CNC integrated probe correction is somewhat unique to that machine. I appreciate any help or direction that you can recommend.

    Regards,
    Mike

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    Member he1957's Avatar
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    Default Re: Searching for "Z" projection utility or software

    Don't know what your tooling requirements are but I've found this spring loaded engraving tool from F.E.T. is the Ultimate and Most Affordable "Floating Engraving Tool" kit available! works very well on irregular surfaces - particularly cast acrylic.

    This gives me a nice depth of cut even if I have to go a bit deeper to make an etch on an additional pass for sections that are even lower.

    Might be worth a look.



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    Member CitizenOfDreams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Searching for "Z" projection utility or software

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelangelo631 View Post
    We do have the ability to collect surface points using a probing routine. However we do not have a utility or application that will adjust the final program to map to that calculated surface.
    Take a look at Autoleveller - this is what I use for engraving less-than-flat surfaces.

    It does exactly what you are talking about. You make a surface height map with a probe, then use that map to "warp" an existing G-code file.

    The program is now 100% free, but the author would appreciate a donation if you find it useful.



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    Default Re: Searching for "Z" projection utility or software

    If you can create a 3D surface from your probe routine and save it as STL, DeskProto will project your vector graphics onto it and generate a toolpath for engraving. But you'll still have the problem of the tool cutting differently on flat areas vs steep ones. To do this most effectively, you'd need a trunnion table that would turn the part so as to present a perpendicular surface to the tool no matter what.

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Member michaelangelo631's Avatar
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    Default Re: Searching for "Z" projection utility or software

    I will be looking into that to see if this can work for my application. Thanks for the tip.



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